Sustainability lessons from Japan

Kimono, the traditional outfit of Japan has been reduced to being ceremonial wear. Worn sparingly and largely by the more traditional and older population today. With Kimonos having lost their relevance in modern day Japan, quite a few are making their way to second hand markets. 

Kimonos fell out of fashion given the complexity around wearing and the cumbersome sandals they required. Moreover, with more women joining the work force, faster paced lifestyles, even the Government encouraged more contemporary, western wear. 

Kimonos were once considered heirlooms; a lot of effort went into taking care to make them last longer. They were passed down generation to generation. The high quality and durable silk makes it possible for the transition across wearers. 

With traditional Kimonos now being made accessible, it is interesting see designers repurposing these into contemporary outfits more suited to today’s trends. 

Maybe this trend will inspire weaving of Kimono inspired fabrics especially for modern day fashion. Those familiar, soothing, nature inspired prints being made into gowns, flowy blouses, wrap around skirts and so much more. The Kimono will live on, albeit in a new avatar. 

For more on Kimono repurposing, please use the link below:

Closer home, individuals, groups, organizations and the Government are working hard to ensure the saree stays contemporary and relevant. Several saree brands have come up with affordable, easy drape and breathable work wear sarees, women are encouraged to wear sarees for all small and big celebrations in office, there are revival efforts at the state levels to bring back some of the popular weaves. National saree day and national handloom day are observed. 

Social media has played a huge part in this revival. We started the Magic of Sarees in 2010(oldest online saree group) to popularise saree wearing across the globe, today there are at least a 1000 groups working towards the same objective. Our more recent launch, MOS Preloved, a  market place for Preloved sarees, makes good quality sarees affordable and accessible to a much larger set. So, on one hand we promote Sustainable fashion by ensuring the same saree is worn by multiple people and on the other hand we make it easier for people to own and wear sarees.

Let us hope sarees continue to spread their magic forever and ever.

Happy draping!